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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)


AMERICAN MUSCLE CARS: The next war begins 2007

Just when Ford thought it had won the 'pony car' war when the last of its adversaries went to grave a few years ago, the rivals rise


In 1964, Ford introduced a Ferrari 'wannabe' to American baby boomers and it was called the Mustang...hence the term ''pony car'' was coined. It was an instant success thanks to a good balance of sportiness, performance and value for money. It was neither the biggest nor the most powerful cars of its time in the US...just a notch below the beastly and expensive Ford GT40 or Chevy Corvette flagship sports cars.

We are talking about a two-door coupe with long bonnet, short rear end and a V8 engine that an average Joe could afford to buy and burn tarmac from Sunset Boulevard all the way to Florida Keys.

It also sparked competition from the other two big American car companies in the form of Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird and Dodge Challenger.

The fact that in 42 years, over eight million Mustangs have been sold and that the current fifth generation is still going strong tells you that Ford has got something right.

First to throw down the gauntlet to the pony car war was the Chevy Camaro which debuted in 1967 and sold a big fraction of the Mustang volume in four generations until its demise in 2002...the same year it's GM brother, the Pontiac Firebird, was discontinued.

The Dodge Challenger came late in to the pony car war in 1970 and, thanks in part to the oil crisis at the time, departed as early as 1974...less than 166,000 units sold.


Although Dodge rebadged 1978 Mitsubishi Galant Lambda Coupe as a second generation Challenger, it never really qualified as a pony car with its four-cylinder only engine.

Back to present and we have now seen both the Camaro and Challenger reborn in the form of concept cars at the Detroit Motor Show held earlier this year. The former is expected in the American showrooms in 2007 and the latter in 2008. Let's see what each have to offer and compete with the Ford Mustang.

__________________

Source: Bankok Post Motoring
Friday February 24, 2006
 

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Vanishing Point said:
...Just keep the girl lookin' good in the concept form,..or there's gonna be a problem for me!:rolleyes:
Yeah... looking at the ad for the Mitsubishi Challenger makes my skin crawl. In the 1980s we fell down a hole so deep we looked up and couldn't even see the sun.
 

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firstmethod said:
Yeah... looking at the ad for the Mitsubishi Challenger makes my skin crawl. In the 1980s we fell down a hole so deep we looked up and couldn't even see the sun.
At times I wish I'd been around during the first muscle car war, then I remember I would have had to also see the great performance depression.:rolleyes: Makes missin the first-go-round a little more bearable.:cool:
 

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ND RAM said:
At times I wish I'd been around during the first muscle car war, then I remember I would have had to also see the great performance depression.:rolleyes: Makes missin the first-go-round a little more bearable.:cool:
The mid-late 70's sucked for musclecar fans. I lived through it during my high school years (Class of 80). Nobody was putting out anything good. If you wanted a fast car you had to buy a used one or build one yourself. It's amazing to me we now have production cars that are now faster than many of those classics.

By 1974 all the classic muscle and ponycars were gone and replaced by "sporty" decal packages with detuned engines with plenty of smog junk. You could get a 4-Speed 455 Trans Am in 1976 - but the engine was the same from the Mom & Dad cars and only cranked out 200 hp.

The Chevy SS cars and Cutlass 442 became decal packages and you might be lucky to order a Hurst stick shift and not much else. Ford replaced the Mustang with Mustang II, which was basically a Pinto and they only offered a puny V-6 the first year.
 

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WildBillTX said:
The mid-late 70's sucked for musclecar fans. I lived through it during my high school years (Class of 80). Nobody was putting out anything good. If you wanted a fast car you had to buy a used one or build one yourself. It's amazing to me we now have production cars that are now faster than many of those classics.

By 1974 all the classic muscle and ponycars were gone and replaced by "sporty" decal packages with detuned engines with plenty of smog junk. You could get a 4-Speed 455 Trans Am in 1976 - but the engine was the same from the Mom & Dad cars and only cranked out 200 hp.

The Chevy SS cars and Cutlass 442 became decal packages and you might be lucky to order a Hurst stick shift and not much else. Ford replaced the Mustang with Mustang II, which was basically a Pinto and they only offered a puny V-6 the first year.
We live in good times now though.:D Detroit has got EFI figured out and is finally using it to it's potential.
 

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ND RAM said:
We live in good times now though.:D Detroit has got EFI figured out and is finally using it to it's potential.
About the only thing I want back from the "good old days" are the prices for new cars! :D

I never thought these kinds of cars would ever be built again with the way goverment regulations dictate the way cars are made. GWB will let these cars be made because he knows Detroit has to sell big cars and trucks to survive. But lets hope the next administration that comes into power doesnt try to screw things up by really tightening up mpg and emmision requirements for big V8's. (PS: DONT vote Liberal)
 

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WildBillTX said:
About the only thing I want back from the "good old days" are the prices for new cars! :D

I never thought these kinds of cars would ever be built again with the way goverment regulations dictate the way cars are made. GWB will let these cars be made because he knows Detroit has to sell big cars and trucks to survive. But lets hope the next administration that comes into power doesnt try to screw things up by really tightening up mpg and emmision requirements for big V8's. (PS: DONT vote Liberal)
Don't worry about me voting for a liberal!:mad: I'm a redneck from NC, i.e. conservtive.:cool:
 

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This same story was presented in the Bangkok Post... even Thailand is talking about the Challenger!

Here are the photos they printed in their copy, not sure if these have been posted here before, but worth another look...


The Camaro, has the lines of the best looking Camaro of them all _ the 1969 version _ plus splashes of the Corvette and the Raptor fighter plane. It looks modern overall yet unmistakably retro in its lines.The Challenger on the other hand looks every bit retro and who can blame the designers when an original 1970 sample was brought into their design studio for inspiration _ that's more like carbon-tracing. It does have one very modern component: the black stripes on the bonnet aren't paint but exposed carbon material of the bonnet.

Both ponies have four-wheel independent suspension with struts up front and multi-link rear _ the Mustang have live axle. These concept cars have 14-inch brake discs all around. Camaro, has 21-inch wheels up front and 22-inch rear wheels, while the Challenger has 20/21 wearing huge rubbers sizes from 255 to 305mm _ all are likely to be smaller in real production. Challenger's rear end is one big neon light panel _ if in Bangkok, the City may want to tax it.​


Camaro's all-aluminum small block 6.0L V8 LS-2, has 400hp but with frugality of a compact sedan _ 13kpl _ at highway cruising speed thanks to high-tech engine management that shuts off fuel to four-cylinders. Drive is by Tremec (formerly BorgWarner) T-56 Six-speed manual transmission _ same unit as in the Corvette Z06, the Viper and the Aston Martin Vanquish. Challenger's 6.1L V8 'Hemi' produces 425hp and also coupled to a six-speed gearbox. It has a claimed 0-96kph at 4.5sec and standing quarter-mile in 13sec. Both have, at least on paper, capabilities to beat the current 300hp Mustang GT but no match for the awesome 475hp Ford Shelby GT500 due out this summer.

The Camaro's clean looking cockpit, top left, sport two large gauges and orange trim reminiscent of the first-generation Camaros.The Challenger's four-dials-in-a-row mimics the feel of looking down into the engine cylinders with the (cylinder) head off. Authentically Challenger style is the pistol grip shaped gear knob. Both cars have that classic three-spoke steering wheel design _ wonder if the production cars can keep these designs and yet cater for mandatory airbags in those relatively small hubs.

Both ponies retain the hardtop body style with frameless doors and no B-pillars. Both interior designs have very good chance of making it into production, albeit less solid metal bits.
 

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HEMEEE said:
This same story was presented in the Bangkok Post... even Thailand is talking about the Challenger!

Here are the photos they printed in their copy, not sure if these have been posted here before, but worth another look...


The Camaro, has the lines of the best looking Camaro of them all _ the 1969 version _ plus splashes of the Corvette and the Raptor fighter plane. It looks modern overall yet unmistakably retro in its lines.The Challenger on the other hand looks every bit retro and who can blame the designers when an original 1970 sample was brought into their design studio for inspiration _ that's more like carbon-tracing. It does have one very modern component: the black stripes on the bonnet aren't paint but exposed carbon material of the bonnet.
I'm sorry but the new Camaro looks like they tried to make it an exotic to me. That ain't the path that it should be goin down.

$.02
 

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sniper226 said:
That picture and story brings back memories of the revived Mercury Cougar.:eek:
What year are you referring too - those big Cougars based on the Torino? The Coug hasnt been a real ponycar since 1973..

I heard a rumor Ford is thinking about bringing back the Cougar again, this time on the Mustang chassis since the 'Stang is so hot and Mercury's been so cold. They dont even have a 2-Door anymore.

All I gotta say the more ponycars back in showrooms the better! Competition is always good for everyone.
 

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WildBillTX said:
What year are you referring too - those big Cougars based on the Torino? The Coug hasnt been a real ponycar since 1973..
I am referring to the 2000+ year model little POS's that they decided to put the Cougar name on.
 

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If this is the start of "The Muscle CARWARS", my wallet is loaded and ready to fire. I am prepared to unload approx. 45,000 rounds if that is what it takes!! The cry was heard,"DON'T FIRE UNTIL YOU SEE THE WHITE SMOKE IN THEIR WHEELWELLS"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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